Transformers: Age of Extinction is officially a major hit around the world. In fact, Michael Bay’s much-maligned endeavor broke box office records in China.
While analysts and experts are attempting to unravel the mystery behind the movie’s weekend totals in the U.S., Paramount Pictures is busy celebrating a major victory overseas. Apparently Chinese moviegoers really enjoy watching giant robots transform into dinosaurs and vehicles. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Transformers 4 made a whopping $93 million during its first three days of release. Age of Extinction also enjoyed the biggest opening weekend for a foreign film in the country.
That’s definitely great news for the boys and girls at Paramount, who coughed up approximately $210 million to bring Transformers: Age of Extinction to life. Even if the movie crashed and burned during its domestic debut last weekend, the sequel still made an astronomical $202 million worldwide. Needless to say, fans of the franchise should anticipate more Transformers movies between now and the end of time.
Of course, the success of Transformers 4 in China isn’t really a huge surprise to those who followed the film’s production. Michael Bay and Paramount famously teamed up with the a few Chinese production companies to help cover the flick’s massive budget. Since the filmmaker prominently featured China during several key scenes in Age of Extinction, moviegoers flocked to theaters to watch Bay lay waste to their country.
China Movie Channel chairman Yan Xiaoming said in a statement last year:
“We have been working together in the field of importing Hollywood movies for Chinese television and internet, including Paramount movies, as well as introducing Chinese movies to the North American market and are very delighted with the results we have accomplished together. We are very confident that the China Movie Channel-Jiaflix cooperation with Paramount will result in the famous ‘Transformers’ brand being an even bigger success.”
How right they were. Unfortunately, the mind-blowing success of Transformers: Age of Extinction could ultimately hurt Hollywood’s chances of getting more movies into theaters throughout China. The Hollywood Reporter points out that the country’s Film Bureau didn’t want Chinese theater owners to favor Transformers 4 over locally produced endeavors.
The publication reports:
“Just last week, Zhang Hongsen, a director at the powerful regulator, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT), said 2014 was ‘the year when the battle between Hollywood and China really begins.’ He called on theater chain owners not to give Age of Extinction 100 percent of the screening time and encouraged them to help boost locally made products.”
Are you surprised that Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction broke box office records in China? Do you think the film’s success will ultimately hinder more Hollywood movies from getting released in the country?
[Image via Paramount Pictures]